By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, has directed chairpersons of the Asari Toru, Akuku-Toru and Degema councils to provide internal security for the contractor handling the Trans-Kalabari road project.
Wike spoke when he received members of the Kalabari Traditional Rulers Council, led by the king of Abonnema, King Disreal Gbobo Bob-Manuel who were on a thank you visit to Government House, Port Harcourt on Friday.
He expressed his determination to complete the project within the next 14 months to link communities and open them to development.
“I want you to take this project as your own personal project. I want to warn all the three council chairmen, if anything happen to the contractor, I’ll hold you responsible.
“You must provide internal security for them. Nobody from outside will go and kidnap anybody there. Please, make sure the contractor is allowed to do work so that these communities that have not seen such road in their history will be linked up.
“Let’s finish this phase one of the project in 14months so that when the next governor comes, he will take the next phase. Like that the entire Kalabari area will be linked up. God willing, we will achieve it.”
He added that his administration has provided critical projects across Kalabari land to secure an enduring development for the various communities in the area.
The governor said while schools have been rehabilitated, roads constructed and reclamation of vast expanse of land from mangrove swamp, to provide land for various Kalabari communities, his commitment to accomplishing them was beyond mere politics.
“I’ve done the schools in Bakana, Harry’s Town, and Tombia Town. In Asari-Toru, I have done sand-filling in Abalama Town to provide them hectares of land, including revamping the Kalabari National College. We have awarded the Marywood and they are doing the bridge there.
“Go to AkukuToru, if for nothing, we did the ring road. That road made it easy for guests to Chief O B. Lulu -Briggs burial to ply. It would have been difficult without the road. We have also awarded contract to sandfill 52 hectares of land for them. I brought back Nyemoni Grammar School.
“In Kula, they are doing sandfilling because I know you need land. So, what will anybody say. Even in Okrika, go and see the sandfilling we are doing for them. Go and see the internal roads. Go to Ogu-Bolo Local government area. I can stand before anybody and say this is what I had done.”
In his address, the leader of the delegation and Amayanabo of Abonnema, King Disreal Gbobo Bob-Manuel said monarchs of Kalabari nationality are apolitical, but will always support anybody who brings development to their land.
He expressed the gratitude of the entire Kalabari people to Governor Wike for breaking the jinx that has frustrated progress with the Trans-Kalabari road project.
“We have heard some sentiment expressed from people of our region that are radically different from what we stand for. It is in our culture and tradition to show gratitude for any gesture shown to us”.